Judge orders voter registration deadline extended in 36 counties
Published 3:34 pm Saturday, October 15, 2016
Voters in 36 of the state’s 100 counties have several more days to register to vote in the upcoming Nov. 8 general election.
Beaufort, Hyde, Washington, Tyrrell, Pitt, Craven and Pamlico counties are among the counties affected by a court’s decision. All of the affected counties are in the eastern part of the state.
Late Friday evening, Wake County Superior County Judge Donald Stephens ordered the voter registration deadline at 5 p.m. Friday be extended through the close of business Wednesday. His order applies to the 36 counties receiving assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
The extended deadline expires the day before early voting begins.
The extended deadline might create a concern/
“It could potentially cause an issue. I don’t know that it would cause a problem. If somebody registers on Wednesday and then comes in Thursday to vote, with the lag time there’s no way we can get it all processed,” said Kellie Harris Hopkins, Beaufort County’s elections director. “We’d better able to see that they did register and we’d get them to do a provisional ballot or either tell them give us a day or two to get it in the system. Probably, starting Monday, anybody that drops them off in the office that we can make face-to-face contract with we’ll tell them, ‘Look, this is an unusual circumstance. We don’t have a problem with it. We just need a little bit more time to get it in before you come back to vote.’”
In the other 64 counties, voter registration ended Friday. Would-be voters may still register and vote at the same time during the 17-day early voting period, which begins Thursday and runs through Nov. 5.
Early voting (one-stop) begins Oct. 20 and concludes Nov. 5. In Beaufort County during the first week of the early voting period, the Board of Elections office will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20 through Oct. 22 and Oct. 24 through Oct. 26. The schedule for the last 10 days of the early voting period follows: extended office hours at the Board of Elections office, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 27 through Oct. 29 and Oct. 31 through Nov. 5, and from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 5. Three satellite offices (Aurora, Belhaven, and Chocowinity) would be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 2 through Nov. 4 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 5, 198.5 hours. There is no early voting on Sundays in the county.